Rob Waugh – July 30, 2018
A chilling simulation has revealed just how easily a new pathogen could wipe out a huge slice of the world’s population – up to 900 million people.
Researchers at John Hopkins University simulated the spread of a new illness – a new type of parainfluenza, known as Clade X.
The simulation was designed so the pathogen wasn’t markedly more dangerous than real illnesses such as SARS – and illustrates the tightrope governments tread in responding to such illnesses.
American politicians played out the scenario – which was built to be extremely realistic – where a doomsday cult released a genetically engineered virus.
By the end of the simulation in May, representing 20 months after the start of the outbreak, there were 150 million dead around the world – and no vaccine.
The researchers say that the simulation would have ended with up to 900 million dead, nearly 10% of the world’s population.